National Equity Atlas Now Includes More Detailed Racial Subgroup Data

Since its debut in October 2014, the National Equity Atlas has disaggregated most of its 31 demographic and equity indicators by race/ethnicity using broad categories defined by the U.S. Census. Today, we are excited to announce the release of more detailed demographic data based on self-reported ancestry for all major racial groups in the U.S. Data for the Asian/Pacific Islander (API), Black, Latino, Native American, and non-Hispanic White populations is now disaggregated by ancestry as well as by nativity (i.e., immigrant or U.S.-born). On May 23, we will be adding these more detailed race/ethnicity cuts to six economic opportunity indicators: median wage, unemployment, the percentage of workers making $15/hour, disconnected youth, educational attainment, and homeownership.
We’ll confess: the more detailed socioeconomic indicators are what is really compelling, and you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for them. But the demographic data provides important context, helping you to better understand the racial/ethnic composition of your community, and how it is changing, at a more granular level. Below are some key takeaways from the new data.
Immigration policy shows up in the data
U.S. immigration policy has and continues to impact our demographics. Two-thirds of the 15.1 million Asian/Pacific Islanders in the U.S. are immigrants, and one in four is a Chinese or Indian immigrant. Due in part to immigration laws, this segment of the population is highly educated. More than 90 percent of the nearly 20,500 Indians of working age in Minnesota have at least a bachelor’s degree as do 86 percent of the 11,400 Chinese people of working age in Irvine, CA. The sheer size of the Chinese and Indian immigrant populations influences overall API averages on many socioeconomic indicators, masking some of the differences among the various populations within the API community and highlighting the importance of disaggregating by racial subgroups.
Asian and Pacific Islander communities cluster in Pacific Rim cities, but also inland cities like St. Paul
Of the 100 largest cities, New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have the largest populations of Chinese people, while Long Beach, CA has the largest population of Cambodians followed by Philadelphia, PA and Stockton, CA. The cities with the largest Indian populations include New York City, San Jose, and Fremont, CA, while St. Paul, MN, Fresno, CA and Sacramento, CA have the largest Hmong populations. The Los Angeles and Seattle regions are home to the largest populations of Samoans outside of Hawaii while the San Francisco region has the largest population of Tongans. Explore the API subgroups more here.
People of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Dominican heritage also cluster in certain cities
The immigrant to U.S.-born ratio for Latinos is basically the reverse of that for APIs. Nearly two in three of the 50.5 million Latinos are born in the U.S. Mexicans make up more than half of the total Latino population followed by “Other Latinos,” respondents who identified as Latino but did not specify a specific nationality or ancestry. The regions with the largest Mexican populations are in California and Texas while the regions with the largest populations of Puerto Ricans are located entirely in the east with the exception of Los Angeles (which ranked 15th). The city of Los Angeles is home to 14 percent of Salvadorans in the U.S., of which 35 percent are U.S.-born and New York City is home to 42 percent of the total Dominican population, 40 percent of whom are U.S.-born. Explore the Latino subgroups more here.
Data reveals differences within Black and White populations
Nearly 3.7 million people identified as non-Hispanic White with American Indian ancestry. This population is thus included in White averages and as a White subgroup but is 1.8 times larger than the total Native American/Alaskan Native (NAAN) population. Ten percent are located in Texas with 94,000 American Indian non-Hispanic White-identified people in the Dallas region alone. Aside from “Other Native American/Alaskan Native,” Cherokees make up the largest subgroup of the total NAAN population and more than 28,000 Cherokees live in the Tulsa region. Roughly 2.4 million non-Hispanic White people identified as Middle Eastern/North African (MENA). Seventeen percent of the MENA population lives in the Los Angeles region though the New York City, Chicago, and Detroit regions also have sizeable MENA populations. Eighty-six percent of Black/African Americans identified as “Other Black,” which is largely comprised of those identifying simply as “African American” to the ancestry question. Jamaicans were the next largest subgroup followed by Haitians. Well over half of the Jamaican and Haitian populations live in the New York City or Miami region.
We invite you to explore your city or region and look out next month for the release of socioeconomic indicators at the more detailed race/ethnicity level. Feel free to contact us with any questions or let us know how you’re using the data!